15th July 2004

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Thursday, 1st of July school reopened after the summer vacations.

Class III enjoyed a mango eating activity as a preliminary to their lesson on trees. 

Yaman Verma, Ashutosh Kumar, Megnaa Mehta & Rohan Arora participated in the Slater’s debate held at Bishop Cotton School, Shimla and reached the quarter finals. Ashutosh Kumar was judged  best speaker in 2 rounds.

The VVS Cricket Team played a match against the Bishop Cotton School Shimla and narrowly lost.

Class XI completed their summer training programmes. There will be reports on their experiences in the next issue.

VVS organised the viewing of the Venus transit with S.P.A.C.E. on the 8th of June.

Vidur Bhargava qualified for the first two rounds of the Informatics Olympiad and reached the national team.

Many summer camps were held during the holidays including  martial arts, clay modeling, basketball, yoga and film making.

Friday, 2nd July, 2004 - the Kalakaar group performed for the Junior School and the staff sang songs for the Senior School.

The 3rd National Cyber Olympiad was held at the beginning of the year in school and three students from school... Ateev Anand, Nipun Sharma and Yaman Verma of class 12 were awarded merit certificates on the 2nd July.

On the 5th of July a Science based General Knowledge Quiz was conducted for Classes III, IV and V.

On the 5th of July Class XI viewed a presentation on Physical Geography.

A Marketing Strategy Competition was held for Class XI & XII. The Vasant Valley team comprised of Nipun Sharma, Jai Kewalramani, Arjun Talwar and Saurabh Chopra.

Mr. Vimelendu Jha spoke to Class VII on Cleaning the Yamuna.

Cut throat Cut-offs

Delhi, May 1995, a class XII student anxiously waits for her results and hopes that the fruits of her labour have come good to her. The D-Day arrives and she becomes a sack of fluttering butterflies in her anxiety. The results come… 82% aggregate, she and her parents are relieved immensely as this will ensure that their child will get admission in Physics (Hons.) course in Delhi University. The family distributes sweets and is happy. But the same situation in 2004 lends to the home and its occupants, a mood of despondency and the knowledge that 82% may just not be good enough…

Cut-offs… the word seems to strike fear in the heart of every youngster in India, especially in Delhi where competition is reaching mammoth proportions lending an immense hand in making rote machines and purely academic, unifaceted human beings out of us, the supposed leaders of tomorrow. The numbers game has reached a stage that students getting 70 or now even 80% are unable to cope with the horde of the 90% ‘cream’ crowd and have resorted to trying options abroad. In a system meant to find the real talent in India’s youth, all it has done is to make parrots out of students and bird trainers out of teachers. Fewer seats and more students, easier papers though with unpredictable correction and evaluation are the reason for this plague of cut-offs. In the race to get that coveted seat in St. Stephens and SRCC... have we forgotten the reason why we take the effort to come to school day after day for 8 hours… have we forgotten the joy of learning?
Ashutosh Kumar XII-C


Admission-phobia seems to be an epidemic with students these days and with good reason too. With cut offs at their peak and few seats to spare, it comes as no surprise that students are tense and disturbed. Fingers may be pointing in several directions but the bottom line in the good colleges remains unchanged- 85% and below and the door’s the only way to go. It certainly seems that even the not so crème-a la-crème colleges of DU have forgotten that important term ‘average students’. The pressure of admissions seems to have seeped down to the future aspirants as well. Choosing a stream is now a complex issue and tickles the brain at several conflicting levels like interest, class environment, career choices and most definitely the new dimension of CUT OFFS! These victims ofOFFS! These victims of cut–throat competition, parental pressure, ambition can only hang their heads in dismay and stare into space in utter shock at the unfairness of it all. Whatever happened to the good old days when getting 70% was reason for ‘jashan’. If this is the current scenario, then I dread to imagine what the future will be like where there might not be place enough for even 95 percenters.
Ashish Aggarwal, XI-C

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The Royal Coup Of 2004

The elections saw the victory of Sonia Gandhi and the defeat of BJP, India Shining, and of course the pollsters. If you count all the opinion polls in newspapers and news channels, there were FIFTY. None of them came within FORTY of the final count for the NDA or the Congress and its pre-poll allies. But none of the smug arrogance was lost. The EXIT polls came within 25- Hurrah for news channels.

Vande Mata Rome
Sonia Gandhi in her greatness decided to relinquish the offer of the PM’s post as her “inner voice” told her to. But shouldn’t her inner voice have spoken earlier, when she accepted the offer…

Since the election, Vajpayee has become a problem for the BJP. He first lashed out at Modi for Gujarat, and then quickly said that it was yesterday’s news. Implying directly that he was not answerable to a statement he made 24 hours ago since it was now “old” news. After which he lashed out at the party stating its arrogance and pride that cost them the elections with a decisive note of ‘I told you so…’ in his speech.

The Undo Button
Since the UPA government has come to power, using the very same coalition politics that it, the Congress “refused to steep down to” last time around it has set about the task of undoing ‘past wrongs’.
The Congress immediately told the IIMs that they could decide for themselves if they wanted a fee cut. The Congress also initiated a panel for History text book revision and wants immediate changes for the so called ‘benefit’ of students which of course comes at the cost of a major course change right in the middle of the year.
Most recently, the Congress decided that 4 governors have to be sacked for the reason that they had “ideological conflicts” surprising as the Congress has barely kept its own ideology intact. An ideology imported from the communists has led to a socio-economic policy that brands religious fundamentalism as terrorism but Naxal violence as a socio-economic problem. Their economic policy is too not far from that of the BJP’s much criticised ‘far right’ policy despite various sources citing otherwise.

Yaman Verma 12-C


We all know that books maketh a man!!! Apart from this benefit it also offers you an opportunity to become a millionaire....a book millionaire.
Do you know that not only you but everyone you know can participate in this contest.
So rope in your relatives and friends to help with the grand prize!
Remember all you have to do is to enter your name and the names of the books read in the KBBM boxes in school.
The Prizes are still there to be claimed by the "intellectuals" who realise the value of the written word.

The World on Wheels

Scientists tell us the world goes round
Round and round the sun they say
The sea, the sky and the ground they say
Around an imaginary axis each day
They say in the orbit, they say it revolves
So last night I set out, this mystery to solve
How foolish do scientists think we can be
So I set out, my friends, into space just to see
And what I found left me laughing in real
Would you believe the world is on wheels?
Well-oiled wheels that make it go round
Around the sun without making a sound
So don’t believe all the hogwash you hear
About imaginary lines from here to there
You’ll have to believe me because I’ve seen it with my eyes
Our world turns on wheels as it floats through the skies.

Viraj Anand 5-A

The World on Wheels

I’d like to thank the wheel inventors who are the Chinese,
And now let’s enter the future zone with ease.
We don’t go to school in a bus any more,
The school bus comes to us right at our door.
Wow, look at the trees moving from park to park
Even the Qutub Minar is going for a lark.
The beach in Goa comes to us when we want a swim
Disneyland comes to Delhi at all our friend’s whim. Bu the best part of the world on wheels would be for Earth to land on Mercury.

Chaitaniya Hari Singhania 5-A

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Highly Recommended

Director: Wolfgang Peterson
Starring: Brad Pitt, Eric Bana, Orlando Bloom, Diane Kruger, Peter ‘O’ Toole, Brian Cox, Brendan Gleeson, Sean Bean, Saffron Burrow
Set in 1193 B.C, TROY is a remarkably handsome movie and is very well directed by Wolfgang Peterson. Helen of Sparta (Kruger) was daughter of the God Zeus and the most beautiful person in the world. She was married to King Menelaus of Lacedaemon (Gleeson) but after a decade eloped with Paris, Prince of Troy (Bloom) to his home country. King Menelaus demanded war with Troy, and so sailed to Troy with all the Greek forces and his brother, King Agamemnon of Mycenae (Cox). The greatest warrior in Greek history, Achilles (Pitt) led the Greek forces. The Trojans were lead by Paris’s brother, Hector, Prince of Troy (Bana). The war lasted over 10 years, until finally, the Greeks won through their renowned idea of the massive Trojan horse that they used to enter and burn Troy down and achieve victory.

Brad Pitt over acted a lot, but what Gladiator did for Russell Crowe will definitely do what Troy will do for Eric Bana. Orlando Bloom’s weak character is partly to blame due to his acting although he did a so-so job. Diane Kruger as well as Saffron Burrow were mostly mediocre except for a few well-done parts. Peter ‘O’ Toole and Brian Cox were decent but Brendan Gleeson wasn’t really much.

What is very touching about the movie is when Hector, a man who fought for his country and family, died, because Achilles, wished revenge on him him for killing his cousin Patroculus.

According to researches, Wolfgang Peterson had a few facts wrong. Coins were put under their dead’s tongues, not on their eyes. Hector did not kill King Menelaus; he was actually one of the survivors who returned to Sparta. During the one on one fight between Paris and King Menelaus, Aphrodite, the God of love and beauty descended from the skies and carried Paris up into them, so Menelaus could not see his opponent, so the two armies clashed as a result.

Mallika Pal 5- B

Van Mahotasav!

Venus Transit

On 8th June 2004, the world saw a sight that was never before, seen by any living person. Vasant Valley too was ready to capture this once in a lifetime event right here in school. Close to 200 people attended the special event organized by VVS. They glimpsed the Venus transit with the help of the school’s 8 inch reflecting telescope. The image was projected on to a sheet of paper kept on an easel. This allowed all the lucky people present to enjoy an extremely clear view of the planet’s transition over the sun. The transition began at 11:55 am and ended at 4:55 pm. The rarity of the event and the opportunity seeing it live is indicated by the fact that this event comes after 120 years then again after 8 years, after 120 years and so on.
The school also captured the Mercury transit last year. The Venus transit event can be next seen on 10th June 2012 after 8 years.

Mrinalini Ranjan, XII-A

Pompeii- Building it Back

On 11 June, our family of three took the “CircumVesuvius” train from Naples to Pompeii. On arriving at the Pompeii train station, we bought a few trinkets and a guidebook on Pompeii. We bought the tickets at the gate and entered the ruins of Pompeii through the Porta Marina that was the original gateway into Pompeii from the harbour. A two-minute uphill walk brought us next to the ruins of houses meant for the civil servants. Next we came to The Forum or the City Centre that housed the most important buildings used to perform important administrative, municipal, religious and commercial functions. The Forum has been designed with buildings on three sides and the Temple of Jupiter situated on high ground on the fourth side. Mount Vesuvius could be seen behind the Temple of Jupiter.
Moving along we saw what was supposed to be a fish market with a big round table in the centre. The Suburban Baths, which were next, had two distinct sections with a big tub in each -one for men and one for women with changing rooms. Another exciting thing was the “Teatro Grande” or “The Large Theater’ which was used for Gladiator shows, Bull fights and other forms of entertainment.
The eastern part of part Pompeii housed the rich and the nobility of the city. One of the houses was “Casa di Octavius Quartio” or the “House of Octavious Quartius.” It had big gardens, a fountain, painted walls and decorations to show his opulence.
Walking through the ruins of Pompeii, I could feel that the people who lived there 2500 years ago lead a complete life. All forms of trade, commerce, religious beliefs, art, architecture and entertainment were visible in the ruins of Pompeii.

Ramya Ahuja 5-B

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The God of Flawed Things

The education system in India is not wrong. Flawed definitely, but downright harmful to the proper growth of children, it is not. Recently we Indians have gone into a reformation crazed state of mind. Anything and everything we are not happy with, we look at it and turn it upside down on its head and transform in into something it never was, never pretended to be and never even wanted to be. Having experienced practically everything the Indian education system has to offer, I have come to realize that we are on the right track; that a slight nudge in the right direction is all we need. No, we don’t need to uproot our system and start from scratch. No, we don’t have to model our system on any other. All we need to do is

a) Make sure that the people capable of making a change know that a problem exists and
b) Make sure those people do something about it.

“What exactly is the problem?” I hear you ask. The current system is too focused on reproducing facts rather than applying knowledge. This makes people literate without educating them. The thin line between the second class system and a brilliant methodology of teaching is still unclear to our educationalists.
A reform is on its way, but you can be sure it won’t be in the near future. Similar to the Revolt of 1857, where every Indian wanted the British out but fought for different reasons at different times and places, enabling the British to suppress the Revolt easily. Modern day reformers too want a change in the current system but the left side of the reformist brain doesn’t know what the right side is doing. The result is visible to all. A series of small pseudo reforms is not going to do any tangible good to the students of today.
Cries about the evils of the board examinations echo through all forums discussing the issue. Let me start of by saying that the Boards are not bad. They are in fact the only good thing going for a system that practically looks down for the count. To avoid controversy about toughness of the question papers and other trivial matters, a standard examination is required to correctly judge a student’s knowledge and have his/her paper corrected in the same way that all other papers are corrected. It is the approach to the board examinations that has caused stomach ulcers and suicidal tendencies. The Boards were never meant to rank students, and subjects were never meant to be studied with the Boards in mind.
So take it easy. Study hard. This article should be added to the millions that have been written about education reforms. Let us observe how much time it takes before this article turns into dust. Let us then present our findings in the form of a project. Let us also hope against all hope that some one somewhere reads this and actually does something about it.
It turns out my dictionary was right by my side all the time.

Rohan Arora, 12-C


Svati Goyal, Rishab Sareen, Saranya Misra, Abhik Ghosh, Arnav Sharma, Varini Sharma, Rati Seth, Alysha Sidhartha, Ashish Aggarwal and Yaman Verma

Sports Desk

Rohan Arora

Ashotosh Kumar


“My cat gave birth to puppies”
Sachi Preet Singh showing ‘commendable’ knowledge in the field of animals

“My sister manicured my feet”
Prerna Sharma with some confusion of beauty concepts

“You have a purple whitener?”
Arnav Sharma,

“This house is so nouce....I mean nice”
Sakshi Chopra, making full use of her poetic license.

“… Children we are discussing the new budget declared by the government …”
“Oh yeah ma’am, how much is it?
Ishan Sehgal, asking the most pertinent question of all!

“… Which race of people was Hitler against?”
Sakhshi Mahajan, giving indispensable knowledge!

“Brain Drain is a scientific term meaning your brain starts raining.”
Sakshi Chopra undertaking the role of a Biology teacher.